Dry Stone Walling Construction

Dry Stone Walling Construction Oxford

Since the 1720 s as well as dry stone walling a more complex design for boundary walls appeared on the expanding country estates north of Oxford which used lime mortar. In the last decade new housing and commercial property has been constructed using a similar lime mortar technique to create a highly distinctive dry stone cladding which gives property and landscape a timeless quality, modern yet also traditional. Hillrise Stonework has worked extensively on this type of walling using a mix of cropped or dressed stone and natural as dug walling. Dry Stone cladding can be used on blockwork or in timber framed construction and also with prefabricated SIPS panels with cavity breather systems which offer a rapid and cost effective building timetable for clients.

Very often there is a conflict between modern Building Regulations and traditional forms of construction when repairs are needed to older structures or they need renovation to bring them back into use as dwellings or workspace. Dry stone cladding offers clients a solution to such projects which is in keeping yet satisfies Building Regulations. This means clients can achieve modern construction and building design which also well serves a landscape which has evolved around traditional and listed buildings, or will for example allow contemporary ventilation and energy saving mechanical and engineering design (in kitchens or utility rooms or where solar and other forms of natural heating are required) to co-exist with or within older or original buildings.

Contemporary dry stone designs

We offer a design service and advice for clients who are looking for an individual yet traditionally led building or landscape design. There is the huge versatility of traditional dry stone walling in all its forms, including stone tiles, walling stone, cropped walling stone or dressed, semi-dressed or sawn building stone and beyond that the varieties of local limestone, sandstone and the other building stone types peculiar to the different national UK regions, such as Welsh Slate or Cornish Granite, both in either new and reclaimed form. Such a range offers the chance to achieve an ideal design for most property development or new landscape projects, with a strong traditional element derived from historic dry stone walling. It is also a chance for reintroducing greater understanding of this once common building technique and through this encourage the repair and conservation of dry stone walls throughout the country, a key aim of the Dry Stone Walling Association of Great Britain.

Stone quarrying in oxford

The Hensington, Bladon and other limestone quarries north of Oxford produced building, dry stone walling stone  and slates but are now almost worked out. Probably dating back to Roman times, a few such as Diamond Quarry lasted until the mid 2oth century. Most villages in North and West Oxfordshire had access to a local quarry in the past, such as Lay s Quarry in Long Hanborough or the quarry at North Leigh which was adjacent to the Roman Villa site. In recent years with an increased demand for dry stone walling local stone is being re-introduced, for example for wall repairs in the Kirtlington area. There were quarries close to Oxford itself such as those in Headington, including Mason s Pit, Blondin Pit and Magdelene Quarry, used for example to build George Gilbert Scott s Holy Trinity Church in Oxford. This legacy of quarries has created a landscape and built environment rich in stone and dry stone structures, which now needs careful maintenance and sets a standard for new development in Oxford itself and local towns and villages like Woodstock, Abingdon, Banbury, Bicester, Witney or Kidlington.

Hillrise Stonework uses hard limestone similar to that quarried in Hensington or Headington for most local dry stone wall and lime mortar wall repairs, as well as new design projects.

If you have a project which involves dry stone walling or lime mortar walling please call us today on 01993 813122 or 07967366153 or fill in our contact form here.